|Gloria's sandwiches, borrowed from here.|
If he'd been working in the field, so to speak, he could have swung by Gloria's for lunch. Any of the voices he heard that morning included conversation about sandwiches for workers. Someone mentioned feta and sun dried tomatoes on ciabata. Maybe they could bring him back a few. (Fisherman's pants! his mind half shouted at him, but the vision of an ample lunch refused to shrink.)
The other half of his mind had begun to fill with music, all of it decades out of date, all of which he had danced to, sometimes with enthusiasm, sometimes with a detachment he hoped seemed cool. Shuffled in among best loved oldies were the few songs he'd overheard Gloria singing in her kitchen. Folk songs in a sweet voice that made him think of a mandolin and girls with long, straight hair who had, once upon a time, laughed, it seemed, from the soles of their not-quite-clean feet, only knew how to cook spaghetti and didn't complain. He remembered they had each grown dreamy from the smell of his porch-dried chambray shirt and shampooed hair.
Good thing they hadn't assigned him power tools today, Robert thought. Saws, drills and their ilk in combination with ladders. He had sidestepped into his time machine, the state of suspended disbelief discovered in childhood where now became any time he wished, either with clear memory or soaring imagination. He knew from experience it would be a jolting re-entry to find himself back behind the cash register, his youthful wonder boy self disguised as a man of increasing years.